What Lean Manufacturing Means to You and Analytic Systems
In today's global manufacturing environment, customers are requiring manufacturers to do more and more with less and less. As a result, Lean manufacturing is emerging as somewhat of a magical savior and something that has implications for the entire product value stream (or value chain). The “value-stream” is the whole path material flow from original raw materials sources all the way through manufacturing to the end customer. This moves well beyond the Just-In-Time (JIT) method of parts stocking. In theory, Lean manufacturing is a philosophy of eliminating waste at every juncture where it occurs across the entire value stream. In practice, Lean manufacturing principles are optimized through the supply chain.
As with any lean initiative, it all starts with understanding "value" in the eyes of the customer. Anything that does not contribute value must be eliminated. A typical facility layout and corresponding production flow are laden with opportunities that will eventually seem obvious. But first and foremost, "value" must be translated into common objectives for all employees, and everyone must be given adequate training on how to exploit those opportunities. This is the way we started in our company, making everybody aware of what is “Lean” attending a one day training course with a professional consulting company (Promaintech Novaxa). As a result, we put together a strong Kaizen team , who started to work hard in implementing the key objectives, measures and principles of a "lean" approach.
At Analytic Systems, the key objectives of a lean manufacturing layout and flow are to deliver a high-quality, low-cost product quickly, while maintaining a safe and pleasant working environment. The most significant layout and flow improvements are typically described as follows:
- reduction in throughput time, cycle time or lead time;
- reduction in the cost of space, inventory and capital equipment;
- increase in capacity utilization;
In light of the lean philosophy, objectives, and concepts described above, our facility layout and flow has been thoroughly analyzed to identify productivity improvements. The following key principles will be employed:
- Minimize material handling, distances, storage, clutter and strain. A Kanban system will be put in place to avoid walking, carrying and minimize storage space for raw material, WIP, finished goods and spare parts throughout the supply chain . Work benches will be ergonomically designed to avoid back and other muscle strains. Everything should have a home, from parts and tools at a workstation, to equipment and product within designated floor spaces.
- Maximize utilization. Make optimal use of people, space, and equipment to improve the return on investment.
- Maximize flexibility and agility. The key to lean is creating a layout that can adapt quickly to changes in product, equipment, personnel, or material.
- Maximize smooth flow. Continuously determine and eliminate the bottlenecks, then re-balance the line.
- Maximize visibility. To quickly spot problems, maintain a clear line of vision to anywhere, from anywhere.
There will be a switch from traditional push batches of product from work centre to another, with usually a different routing for each product, and ending in finished goods storage. We are going to end up using these key concepts:
The Just-In-Time. Under JIT, product is "pulled" through the plant at a rate equal to the rate that sales are generated. A customer order creates demand for finished product, which in turn creates demand for final assembly, sub-assemblies, and so on up the supply chain to raw materials. This pull system significantly reduces the need for building inventory.
Instead of the traditional batch movement of product between work centers, one-piece flow uses a lot size of one. This increases the speed and predictability of the production process, and dramatically reduces WIP accumulation if the process is properly balanced.
What our customers will get from our Lean implementation at Analytic Systems?
A very high quality product, always delivered on time and on consistent basis with a reduced lead time, a higher production capacity and productivity and a single flow operation that eliminates wait time, waste and other non-value activities. We see “lean” like a proactive approach to manufacturing that focuses on eliminating waste and providing value to customers by identifying and producing products the customer really wants (and is thus prepared to pay extra for). Lean processes enable customer demand to pull production, rather than the manufacturer dictating to the customer the products the customer needs, or allowing the manufacturer to push products to the customer. A value stream pulled by customer demand is proactive and based on current market conditions. It is much more responsive to customer needs than a pull system based on forecast.
Toll Free: 1-800-668-3884